Monday, 20 November 2017

Day 1: Macau

Alert: this is a photo-filled post!

I'm so grateful that sis has included me in her trip to Macau and Hong Kong with mom recently. It's a 4 days 3 nights trip where we spent 1 night in Macau  and 2 nights in Hong Kong. It's my first in this country hence the excitement! I've watched countless HK dramas so naturally I would have expected the same in reality LOL!

So I'll let the photos speak for themselves...
An early flight on a wet morning
My current read then with on flight meal

Such a beautiful weather greeted us in Hong Kong
As we have arrived in HKIA, we quickly took the train to meet my sis at the ferry terminal. Thank goodness we didn't have to exit the immigration! After buying the ferry tickets and settled our luggage transfer, we had a quick meal near the ferry check-in... some Japanese food which I couldn't remember...

Waiting to board the ferry
It's seamless and convenient to travel from HKIA to Macau, just a ferry away with everything handled by the ferry management. Once we have reached Macau, we just had to look for the correct free shuttle bus to our hotel.
Sheraton Hotel was breathtakingly beautiful!
After checking in and freshening ourselves up, we went to the adjoining malls for a walkabout. It's so convenient with one mall linking to another and also some hotels too! We don't have to worry about walking outside in the heat or rain! Also with the many clear signage's, we don't have to worry about getting lost.








A must try, Lord Stow's Portuguese Egg Tarts!
Freshly baked with fluffy buttered pastry and yummylicious egg filling at only MOP 10 (est RM5) each, it was definitely worth trying! I've only had one and now kinda regret not getting more then.


The famous Lord Stow's Portuguese Egg Tarts! Look at the queue!
From Venetian to Parisian Malls, ala Venice to Paris, the adjoining linked malls are huge and lengthy to walk! It's as though I've travelled from Venice to Paris but by walking instead of flying LOL! Intermittently joined by some casinos for sure...









So grande!
Ahem... we were in Paris! Cool right?!

Dinner with sis' friend and wife at Beijing Kitchen, Grand Hyatt







Drinking session before we hit the sack!
It was thoroughly a mesmerising day one in Macau. Though in the vicinity of Sheraton + Venetian + Parisian, I felt like I've seen the whole of new Macau... the City of Lights ala Las Vegas! Apparently Macau never sleeps as such all lighting's will be on throughout the night! Though crowded, it was still nice to walk around without much hindrance especially since it's cooling with fresh sea breeze. I've also felt safe walking around with the many policemen on duty. Truly a nice first day in Macau.

Next: day 2 - Macau + Hong Kong

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

MPOV: Astray

My rating: 2/5
Goodreads rating: 3.57/5

Author: Emma Donoghue
Originally published: 2012
Genre: Historical fiction

The fascinating characters that roam across the pages of Emma Donoghue's stories have all gone astray: they are emigrants, runaways, drifters, lovers old and new. They are gold miners and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross other borders too: those of race, law, sex, and sanity. They travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.

With rich historical detail, the celebrated author of Room takes us from puritan Massachusetts to revolutionary New Jersey, antebellum Louisiana to the Toronto highway, lighting up four centuries of wanderings that have profound echoes in the present. Astray offers us a surprising and moving history for restless times.

"The Hunt" was short-listed for the 2012 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award.

The above taken from Goodreads.

It's a compilation of short stories inspired from old articles or history that Emma has come across. It may have been written neatly with the accompanying details but I did find it dense a little if not kinda had me in a daze. I've not read her other books yet so I'm unsure if her prose or her story was not my cup of tea. That said, I did like a few of it like The Gift, Vanitas and What Remains.

An interesting phrase:
Nearly never knit a sock

A couple of worthy notes:


Some new words:
Ignorami - an utterly ignorant person
Perfidiousness - it means underhanded, treacherous, deceitful
Caterwaul - a shrill howling or wailing noise
Almshouse - a house founded by charity
Ersatz - not real or genuine
Uxorious - having or showing a great or excessive fondness of one's wife
Obsequies - funeral services
Simulacrum - an image or representation of someone or something
Expiation - the act of making amends or reparation for guilt or wrongdoing, atonement

Monday, 13 November 2017

MPOV: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 3.99/5

Originally published: June 18, 2013
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow and Company
Genres: Dark fantasy, Surrealism, Horror fiction

First of all, this author has been highly recommended in the bookclub (KLBAC) that I am in. I have started on American Gods but somehow, I could not finished chapter 1. As I was about to give up on this author, I thought why not give it another try since it came highly recommended. I found this book which happened to be slim, just right for my recent travel to HKG. Lo and behold, I have fallen in love with this book.

TOATEOTL is about a man who has returned to his childhood home after attending a funeral. He has not thought of his childhood in a long time and suddenly he thought of Lettie Hempstock, his only friend when he was 7 years old. After passing through his childhood home which was no longer there, he headed to the end of the lane where the Hempstock farm was, where Lettie used to stay. Surprisingly, the farm was still intact and the pond, which Lettie used to call the ocean, was still where it was. All the memories slowly flooding his mind, of his childhood friend Lettie, of their misadventure and how it ended then.

Although ambiguous at times, the story flowed seamlessly with the characters bringing me along their journey... a tumultous ride with the ups and downs keeping me on my toes! It somehow had me imagined that the man, the narrator, was Neil Gaiman and this is his story of his childhood, a particular one when he was 7. It was truly an entertaining read which I've enjoyed from the start to the end.

I so so so loved Neil's poetic prose which was melodically on point! Nothing long-winded, just precision and straight-forward, so easily absorded and imaginable. I just can't comprehend the fact that I was about to give up on him! Perhaps I should stick to his non-adult books for now LOL! An example of his poetic prose:
She had such unusual eyes. They made me think of the seaside, and so I called her Ocean, and could not have told you why.
Some new words for me:
Blancmange - a sweet dessert commonly made with milk or cream and sugar thickened with gelatin, cornstarch or Irish moss, and often flavoured with almonds. It is usually set in a mould and served cold.
Palaver - prolonged and tedious fuss or discussion.

And to end this review, I have attached an excerpt from the book which I find inspiring, which is relatable to us as readers:

Friday, 10 November 2017

CSM: Sponsor a rescued pooch programme

For just RM60 a month, you can help us feed a rescued dog, which is young and strapping with nowhere to go, old and fragile or disabled and special. The sponsorship funds will be used to pay for food, veterinary bills, staff wages, rental and utility bills. Please send us a private message and we'll tell you how to sign-up as a Furkid Sponsor. To learn more, please visit:

https://www.facebook.com/MDDBFurkidSponsorship/

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Hong Kong: Starbucks

I was fortunate that I had the opportunity to travel to Macau and Hong Kong recently, all thanks to my sister's kindness and fortitude. So blessed to be travelling together with my mom and sister for 4 days 3 nights to such beautiful, colourful and retro islands where I've grew up watching on TV. Such a lovely trip, meeting so many beautiful souls and yet encountered some nasty ones... as such, I've decided to kick start my blog post with a bad encounter at Starbucks, Hong Kong.

If you are wondering why I'm starting with a bad encounter first, well, I just want to get it over with and then move on to all the happy memorable moments which are aplenty! I do have lots of wonderful photos which I have yet to select and filter so it will take a very long time for me to post it LOL!

It was the second night of our travel, the first night in Hong Kong to be exact. We just had our dinner with my sister's colleague and decided to explore Ladies Market. While passing through the congested aisles, we came across a Starbucks shop and promptly headed for it was it was my intention to buy a tumbler for my collection. After selecting a suitable tumbler, I went to the cashier and asked in Cantonese if I could purchase the card too. To my utmost horror, the cashier ignored me and proceeded to pack my tumbler instead. After which, he asked for HKD170 which I've then ignored and asked the same question again. However, it seemed that he has trouble understanding me and proceeded to ask me in English instead. Here's how the conversation went:

Cashier: Why do you need the card for?
Me (so stumped with such a question!): I am collecting it
Cashier (proceeded to show me the cards and flicked in a rude manner the current snowman he has and replied): These are about 2 years back, we don't have any new ones
Me (damn angry with the rude behaviour, reigning in my temper and asked): No new ones? That's all?
Cashier with a smug face replied: Yeah
Me - promptly paid the amount and turned to leave after collecting my change and receipt when the cashier realised he forgot to give me a free drink voucher for purchasing a tumbler... looking sheepish for this blunder while explaining the usage.

I just don't get it. It was just a simple transaction of registering the new card, adding credit into it and then use it to pay my tumbler. Why did he has to behave in such a rude manner? Just because I'm a tourist? I have no such issue getting the card in Bali, in fact, the staffs went the extra mile explaining and helping us get the best of both card and tumbler! Way to go Starbucks Bali!

Anyway, after I've shook that rude incident off, we continued to explore Ladies Market and stumbled on another Starbucks outlet. As we were dead tired, sis suggested that I redeemed the free drink there and so another odd encounter happened. This time around, the cashier was friendly. We saw a poster with some new iced drinks and ordered one of that. The cashier was kind to inform me that I could redeemed this drink with my voucher and I was a happy camper! Until when I collected it.......... my heart dropped when it turned out to be a hot drink instead! I did a double take at the poster and my cup.

Poster = iced drinks
Reality = hot drink

I rest my case. Starbucks Hong Kong, I'm speechless!!!
The rude one

The voucher
The friendly but blur one

All the heartache and hassle for this beauty!
Definitely had me in negative vibes, giving me bad impressions, of Starbucks and Hong Kong. Well with the bad encounter out of the bag and out of the way, I will try to sort out the photos I've taken of both Macau and Hong Kong as soon as I could.

The next blog post would be of the colourful and vibrant Macau.

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